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High Expression of Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase L1 Is Associated With Poor Prognosis in Endometrial Cancer Patients
  1. Kohshiro Nakao, MD, PhD,
  2. Takashi Hirakawa, MD, PhD,
  3. Hiroto Suwa, MD, PhD,
  4. Kayoko Kogure, MD, PhD,
  5. Sadatomo Ikeda, MD, PhD,
  6. Soichi Yamashita, MD, PhD,
  7. Takashi Minegishi, MD, PhD and
  8. Hiroshi Kishi, MD, PhD
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hiroshi Kishi, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan. E-mail: hrskishi{at}


Objective The ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1) plays a key role in tumor invasion and metastasis. Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 is overexpressed in various cancers and reported to be correlated with a poor prognosis. The objective of this study was to determine the prognostic significance of UCHL1 in endometrial cancer.

Methods The expression of UCHL1 in endometrial cancer was assessed using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry in 56 and 215 resected tumor specimens, respectively.

Results The 4-year survival rates of the high UCHL1 messenger RNA expression group and high UCHL1 protein expression group were 78% and 71%, respectively, compared with 96% and 95% for the low UCHL1 messenger RNA expression group and low UCHL1 protein expression group, respectively. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests indicated a significant correlation between expression of UCHL1 and disease-free survival and overall survival. Moreover, multivariate stepwise Cox proportional hazard regression model analysis showed that UCHL1 was a significant independent marker for predicting a poor disease-free survival and overall survival. In 43 patients with metastatic lesions, immunohistochemical analysis of metastatic lesions revealed that the recurrence rate and mortality rate were 62% and 41%, respectively, in 29 UCHL1-positive patients and 36% and 29%, respectively, in 14 UCHL1-negative patients.

Conclusions The results of this study suggest that high UCHL1 expression is a strong marker of poor prognosis of endometrial cancer. Furthermore, we suggest that UCHL1 may be involved in the development of distant metastasis in endometrial cancer.

  • Endometrial cancer
  • Metastasis
  • Prognostic factor
  • UCHL1

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.